Contemporary Insert Credit games (just for fun?)

Recently I have been thinking more and more about whether modern games feel like they they embody the qualities of games known to be bonafide, classic Insert Credit games. Some immediately make an impression that screams Insert Credit whilst others certainly take their time to showcase their goofiness.

The prevalence and popularity of indie games is certainly a fountain of potential candidates but there are also many from larger developers and publishers too.

What constitutes as contemporary is going to be pretty broad, and I'm more than happy to outright say anything from the start of the PSWii60 generation onwards is fair game, despite many of those games already being part of the canon - the generation was long and there's going to be outliers after all.

Without further waffling. A couple of candidates from me:

### Dungeon Encounters

I've talked about this a few times following its initial release but I strongly believe that this has been one of Square Enix's finest games in years. Essentially a stripped back, bare-bones JRPG, Dungeon Encounters flips the bombast of the genre on its head and reduces every aspect of the game to the bare minimum - even the music is composed of remixes of classical music. Battles animations are almost entirely limited to 2D portraits wiggling, distorting or shifting. Exploration is restricted to a predetermined layout of a near featureless grid. And individual characters are barely anything more than a diorama. Oh, and there's a couple paragraphs of text as preamble for the story, and that's pretty much it for the entire game.

Despite all of that, every action in Dungeon Encounters is a joy. From the carefree gallop of your avatar filling out the map and the accompanying sound as you fill out each square, to the joyful simplicity of puzzles and quests. All of which are entirely optional. It's goofy, fun, and is a wonderful example of function over form within a game.

### Game Type (DX)

My second example is Game Type. I know Brandon has talked about this a bit recently, which is what instigated me into revisiting it, but any game that requires a specific piece of knowledge and / or experience to "get", that of discoverability of indie games on Xbox Live circa 2011, and basing its entire existence on commenting on that fact is already on its way to goofiness royalty.

The core of the game is a scrolling 2D STG where enemies consist of advertisement products such as cars, doughnuts, as well as oversaturated Internet game and meme creatures like zombies and cats. Your ship is a hooded young person who shouts "Parkour!" when you fire your secondary shot, and you pick up bundles of cash to increase your score.

But before any of that you have to actually find the game. And if that sounds confusing, when you run the game you're taken to a mock-up of the Xbox 360 dashboard, filled with ads, and inane submenus, and you're asked to actually find Game Type, the STG game, under the menus. Whilst being easy to find, the initial experience undoubtedly gets across the point that burying indie games under such menus was a terrible idea.

Game Type DX has recently been released on contemporary platforms and has also been on Steam for a while. It's very inexpensive, and the core gameplay is pretty fun for something that was put together so quickly. It's made by Mommy's Best Games, of Shoot 1-Up and Pig Eat Ball fame, both of which could also be argued as candidates for Insert Credit games, but Game Type is absolutely up there in terms of its quirkiness and its simple design.

What are some other games that you can think of, and why are they Insert Credit games?

I always find it interesting to discuss “what is Insert Credit,” if only because when I discovered it (early podcast days) the website itself was more or less dormant, but the archives were still easily accessible (you didn't have to tolerate the super slow load times of the wayback machine), so I spent a lot of time excavating stuff that felt super old (though most of what I read was less than 5 years old at that point). As a result of that, and also maybe just because of my own personal interests, the video game stuff seemed a lot less directly relevant to me, and instead I lapped up a lot of the “American Otaku in Japan” stuff. (Though in some ways the Korea writing actually continues to stick in my head a lot more than the Japan stuff.)

While I think Tim and Brandon both would agree a lot of those old articles were a little cringey, they were also my first in depth peek into modern Japanese pop culture that wasn't distorted through the prism of anime and games. Tim's writing about working for Sony was super fascinating to me (particularly because I was still a teenager and had never had an office job yet lol). Insert Credit (or maybe Large Prime Numbers) was the first place that taught teenage me the very obvious truth that Japan has TV shows that aren't cartoons, and some of them are pretty neat.

So for me, the most Insert Credit modern games are the RGG studio games, particularly Judgement. They are basically Japanese city simulators and feel slightly more distanced from the usual Anime perspective many non-Japanese people on the internet have (at least circa-2010 internet), and are instead grounded more in the TV drama world. Recently I read a book by a former-drummer from a Chinese band that I like about his life in Japan after he left the band, and having played these games helped to very vividly imagine the stuff he talked about, since a lot of what he described took place in Kabukicho, and a lot of his friends were the sort of people that would initiate sidequests for Kiryu or Yagami. So I guess both Insert Credit and the RGG games served a similar purpose as "supplemental material" for better understanding literature having to do with Japan (or at least Tokyo). Even if the Japan they both present is a bit of a caricature, there was an unusual amount of realism conveyed in a way that felt more like first-hand experience than what I could get from movies or other writing.

Let's see, the XBox 360 was released in 2005, so games that came out in 2006 are fair game, such as

# **GOD HAND**

Also, as someone who was, to the best of my knowledge, not even remotely aware of the insert credit of yore and only stated listening to the show shortly after the resurrection, I think an insert credit game is any game that at least one but preferably more than one person posts about, on here, in such a way as to argue for it being an “insert credit” game. Is this a thing that someone can be correct or incorrect about? Or, if it instills that kind of desire in at least one of us, is that what makes it “insert credit”?

I'm thinking of _Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin_ here, specifically.

Deadly Premonition is an obvious one.

I'd argue for the inclusion of _Pathologic 2,_ as well.

There have got to be a bunch on here… am I the only one who thinks about this post all the time??


@“Gaagaagiins”#p76748 There have got to be a bunch on here… am I the only one who thinks about this post all the time??

_Death Stranding!!_

I can‘t decide if Darkest Dungeon is an “insert credit” game. Darkest Dungeon is virtually without flaw, and there’s something about the quality of something being “insert credit” that is undermined by a game being too straightforwardly good.


@“Syzygy”#p76764 Not exactly the topic— or is it?— but I find Darkest Dungeon to have a huge, insurmountable flaw of being too rote, i.e. the Pokemon / FF10 problem where you can write a simplistic script that plays the game optimally.

I would say I find that hard to believe, but hell, I know people speedrun it, and I would imagine there's got to at least be significant overlap between the decisions speedrunners make while playing _Darkest Dungeon_ and the decisions a script would pick.

I was mostly being hyperbolic, but nevertheless, from my perspective that's like saying that there's no beauty in me personally bothering to play chess just because Deep Blue could (most likely) beat my chosen opponent. _Darkest Dungeon_ is not rote to me because I've chosen not to learn how to completely eliminate my chances of unknowingly [Bongcloud Attacking]( into an expedition or boss battle with a wonky party comp and needing to figure out a way to make that predicament work regardless. I personally think the game is complex and well balanced enough that, well, at least without watching speedruns or reading specifically speedrun guides, understanding the game on that deep of a level would take dozens if not hundreds of hours of experimentation and learning. I think I know what would be an optimal round of combat and the ideal way any given encounter should go, but there's at least enough randomness overall for me that the Shambler can still catch me off guard sometimes... key word "sometimes."

At any rate, to keep it topical, I don't know if any of that are things one would say about games that possess that "insert credit" quality. I'm not sure why but that's how I feel about it.

@“Syzygy”#p76778 Not gonna lie, this just makes me want to see you play Darkest Dungeon. Not because I don't believe you, but because I do.

Definitive Top 10 Insert Credit games according to very scientific much research.

**Tomak Save The Earth**
**Asuka 120% Burning Fest Ltd.**
ToreTore! Sushi*
**Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty**
**Ie, tatemasu!**
**The King of Fighters 2001**
**Steambot Chronicles**
**Cleopatra Fortune**
**Pathologic 2**

*Never actually came out but we need an AtomisWave representative so let’s say **The Rumblefish** instead.

They are or will be all contemporary at one point or another since every single video game is doomed to receive a remake or HD remaster or reboot or semi-ironic semi-plagiarizing indie clone these days.

Don’t search for _Ie, Tatemasu!_ on the Internet while at work or at church oh god I wrote that warning too late oh no oh god I am sorry.

@“Syzygy”#p76788 I would also be curious about whether or not Darkest Dungeon 2's combat changes matter with regards to feeling too much like simple, single best solution puzzles. I‘ve written about it here, I’m on mobile otherwise I would link it, but it's my Small Numbers RPG thread.

I don't know if it will, I'm not the person to ask because I'm just as enamored with it, even just what's in the Early Access, as the first game.

Also, it's funny you mention pokemon and FFX, because I think you have summed up why I think pokemon is such a bore, but I think that might be a lot of why I like FFX. Heck, I might find serieses of single best solution puzzles satisfying, maybe.

I hope the DS generation counts, here, because I would personally nominate Contact. It's really got a lot going for it IC-wise: really chill atmosphere, visual and muiscal style for days, quirky without being too in-your-face about it (depending on your tolerance for fourth wall breaking), a decent amount of mechanical depth (job system, unusual battle system, actually fun crafting iirc), and that Grasshopper Manufacture pedigree. Honestly, most of the specifics of this game have receded in my mind since I played it ~ 15 years ago, but that abstract “feeling” of playing it lingers, and it reminds me a lot of how it feels to hang out in IC.


# Contemporary Insert Credit games (just for fun?)

[upl-image-preview url=]


Definitive Top 10 Insert Credit games according to very scientific much research.


Tomak Save The Earth

> Asuka 120% Burning Fest Ltd.

> ToreTore! Sushi*

> Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

> Ie, tatemasu!

> The King of Fighters 2001

> Steambot Chronicles

> F.I.S.T.

> Cleopatra Fortune

> Pathologic 2

[upl-image-preview url=]

unrelated question: can a game be insert credit if I3randon “IC” Cheffield hates floppy controls?

@“captain”#p76867 Is that the rabbit from F.I.S.T.? :thinking:


@“captain”#p76872 unrelated question: can a game be insert credit if I3randon “IC” Cheffield hates floppy controls?

More general form of the question--can a game be "insert credit" if there isn't at least one member of the Insert Credit Panel who has some kinda serious issue with it?

I know the answer to the inverse, which is that, yes, a game can be "insert credit" even if no one who has been on the show before likes it, because they aren't the boss of us


@“chazumaru”#p76790 F.I.S.T.

F.I.S.T. is a good one. That seems like one that a good handful of us are gonna pop up on [The thread in which we talk about the videogames we are currently playing ]( to say "I know I'm X year(s) late but dang, that F.I.S.T. game is pretty good"

X being the fibonacci sequence.

i think we have to put Fuga: Melodies of Steel on this list.

also, Attack of the Friday Monsters!

How about Recettear